Summary: The social impact of contributing to social context in a positive way increases our effectiveness as heralds of the good news. (words of affirmation, acts of kindness and gifts)
There are a couple of big questions on the minds of many people: Do I or don't I get the vaccination? And if I am going to get the vaccination, when? The question becomes more complex when a person is frail for one reason or another. Then there is the matter of believing in the science and the medical practitioners offering the cure. Do I wait for a while to see what the issues/side effects are or do I trust in the science and go ahead?
While fear is at the root of these questions, whether you accept the solution offered or not, your fate is ultimately determined by your personal choice. In much the same way, the deadliest virus of all time has but one cure and your fate is determined by your choice.
Like COVID, you must sense something is amiss and decide to get tested. The rapid test has a high percentage of success.
Unlike the COVID test, there is no physical discomfort when being tested but sometimes there is a mental or emotional reaction.
The test is simple all you need to do is answer a few questions: Have you ever...
hurt another intentionally?
considered yourself before others - your needs, wants or desires?
done, or are in the midst of doing things, you're ashamed of?
thought your happiness was paramount?
pursued unhealthy activities and wondered why you do?
given your all to achieve a goal for money, power or prestige only to wonder upon achievement “is this all there is?”
felt superior to others because of your station in life - the color of your skin, the place you were born, your upbringing?
wondered why, with all your basic needs and wants met, you still wrestle with a sense something is amiss?
lied, stolen, coveted or envied?
been angry or physically hurt another?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, you have the soul virus that not only kills this physical existence but all traces of your existence for eternity.
The good news is we have a vaccination. A vaccination which, like the ones offered for COVID, allows the user to experience some aspects of the disease without the fatal consequences. The vaccination is the repenting of your old lifestyle and the acceptance of the new one with Jesus. A process for some is like the sting of the needle of the other vaccinations that soon fades and requires only a regular booster to keep someone protected. These vaccination boosters are what we call our Christian values.
The first booster comes from the “Blessing” others. By blessing others in Christ's name we not only demonstrate God’s love, we stave off the potential effects of the virus of this life: namely sin.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Apostle Paul said to those in Colossus and Thessalonica, its word and deed.
James said, "Its faith and deed."
Therefore, we need to conscientiously develop our way of interacting with the world so as to to alert others to the vaccination that comes from recognizing the universal reign of God through Jesus. In applying the rhythms of Christian life, we are propelled outward, beyond ourselves, into the lives of others so we get to share the benefits of the vaccination with others.
The apostle Paul highlighted this in his message to a church he started in Philippi. A city located in northeastern Greece. He wrote to them to thank them for their support and to urge them to reject false teachers and stay unified. He said in the second chapter of his letter:
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.